- Selected films to screen in Un Certain Regard, Special Screenings and parallel sections of Directors’ Fortnight and Cannes Écrans Juniors
Doha, Qatar; May 15, 2017: Diverse films supported by the Doha Film Institute have been selected to the Cannes Film Festival 2017, to be held from May 17 to 28, underlining the continued presence of projects nurtured by the Institute at the premier film event.
All films are recipients of the Institute’s Grants Programme with three of them further fine-tuned under the eyes of Master filmmakers at the Institute’s Qumra industry event.
Fatma Al Remaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “To have films supported by the Doha Film Institute repeatedly selected at Cannes Film Festival is a strong testament to the high quality of projects we nurture through our financing and mentoring initiatives. We are delighted that the works of talented young filmmakers from the region and beyond have once again made the cut to the premier film event vying, with films from around the world. Through our grants programme, we will continue to focus on identifying new voices and powerful stories that have the potential to shape new trends in world cinema.”
Marking their World Premieres in the Un Certain Regard segment are: Beauty and the Dogs (Tunisia, France, Sweden, Norway, Lebanon, Switzerland, Germany, Qatar/ 2017) directed by Kaouther Ben Hania; and Until the Birds Return (Algeria, France, Germany, Qatar/ 2017) by Karim Moussaoui.
Recipient of Fall Grants 2016 and a Picture Lock screening at Qumra 2017, Beauty and the Dogs charts Mariam, who just wanted to enjoy her night out, but something terrible happens, forcing her to seek justice from the same perpetrator of the crime committed against her. Until the Birds Return, a Fall Grant 2015 recipient and a Qumra 2016 development project, is the story of three characters who are a product of the conflicted Algeria of the 2000s, each now facing a difficult life choice, with their ideals shattered and their moral strength drained.
Plot 35 (France, Qatar/ 2017) by Eric Caravaca world premieres in the Special Screening segment at Cannes. The film takes viewers into the heart of a fascinating human quest. A Fall Grant 2016 recipient, Plot 35, is a place that is never mentioned in the family – where the protagonist’s older sister, who died aged three, is buried.
Screenings in the parallel section of Cannes Écrans Juniors include Wallay (Burkina Faso, France, Qatar/ 2017) by Berni Goldblat and Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim (Egypt, UAE, France, Qatar / 2016) by Sherif El Bendary.
A Fall Grant 2016 recipient, Wallay, had its World Premiere in the Generation section at the 2017 Berlinale, and is about Ady, a French-Burkinabe adolescent, who is sent by his father to the family village in Burkina Faso but the welcome he receives is a rough one. Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim, a Fall Grant 2012 recipient and a Qumra 2016 Work-in-Progress project, is about Ali and Ibrahim, two lonely and weird characters rejected by their society. When their paths cross, this odd pair embarks on a journey that will change their lives.
Selected for screening in the Directors’ Fortnight is Nothingwood (France, Germany, Qatar/ 2017), directed by Sonia Kronlund. A Spring 2017 recipient, the feature documentary is about Salim Shaheen, the most prolific and popular actor-director-producer in Afghanistan. Passionate about cinema, he tirelessly makes Z-grade movies in a country that has been at war for over 30 years.
In addition, four grantee projects have been selected for key initiatives at the Marche Du Film (Cannes Film Market); Spring Grant 2015 recipient Alam, the Flag (Palestine, France, Qatar/2017) by Firas Khoury and The Translator (Syria, Jordan, France, Qatar/2017) by Rana Kazkaz and Anas Khalaf screen in the Cinefondation’s Atelier; The Maiden’s Pond (Lebanon, Germany, Qatar) by Bassem Breche , Fall Grant 2016 recipient and Qumra 2017 project has been selected to the La Fabrique des Cinemas du Monde, and You Will Die At Twenty by Amjad Abu Alala (Sudan, Egypt, Qatar), a Spring Grants 2016 recipient and Qumra 2017 development project will be presented at the first edition of Cinephilia Bound Cannes program in partnership with the Maison Des Scenaristes.
Last year, a strong continent of films supported by the Doha Film Institute had screened in key sections at Cannes including the Official Competition, winning 5 major awards across the different sections. As part of DFI’s mandate to promote Qatar’s evolving film industry to the international community, the Institute will once again present a special showcase of ‘Made in Qatar’ films as part of the first-ever Market Screening and the Short Film Corner programme.